Budget Panel Endorses Funding Bill 

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Lawmakers on the state’s budget writing panel have unanimously endorsed a roughly $30 million proposal to help people with disabilities and struggling nursing homes.

The funding measure approved Wednesday after an all-night session closes a MaineCare shortfall for the 2015 fiscal year, while also funding $5 million for services for people with disabilities on Department of Health and Human Services wait lists and $5 million in additional reimbursement for struggling nursing homes.

State Rep. Peggy Rotundo of Lewiston says the proposal protects the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

The funds would eliminate and reduce the wait lists, allowing hundreds of people with severe disabilities to get critical home-based care services. It also provides $2 million for critical services required under the state’s court ordered mental health consent decree.